WHAT ARE SOLAR POWERED ATTIC FANS AND HOW DO THEY BENEFIT YOUR HOME

Solar powered attic fans or PV fans harness the sun’s energy to pull heated air from your attic while replacing it with cooler air. This reduces the work your HVAC system has to perform to keep the upstairs area cool. If you have a bedroom in the upstairs area of your home, you might’ve noticed how uncomfortably warm it can get during the summer season. A PV fan is perhaps the best solution to replace this warm air with the cooler from the outside.
There are other benefits to installing solar PV fans as well. These are:

Less Drain on your Air Conditioning System

The PV fan yanks hot air from your upstairs room and attic. By doing so, it is capable of lowering the temperature by several degrees. When the heat is pulled out, less of it scatters back into your home. This means your air condition system doesn’t have to work hard to keep the home cool. With a simple solar attic fan installation, you can save up to 30% on your a/c cooling costs.

attic fans

Prolongs Roof Life

Even with vapor barriers in place, moisture is still able to creep into the upper areas and form condensation on the roof decking, attic insulation and framing boards. This problem is worse in older homes because they tend to be settled and have cracks in the foundation which enable air leaks. Solar fans can be a boon because they help to expel moist, warm air, thereby preventing the growth of mildew and mold. This enhances the lifespan of your roof.

Operates in Every Climate

Solar powered fans are made from weather-resistant panels. These are very durable and are capable of harnessing the sun’s energy in low light conditions. Since the fans operate without another fuel source, they produce no pollution with no negative impact on the environment.

Other Benefits

• Solar fans have zero operating costs.
• No electrical work or hookups are necessary.
• The entire assembly usually does not take more than an hour.
• Coupled with your home’s HVAC system, it makes your home atmosphere more comfortable.

To learn more about solar powered fans, please contact PS Solar Energy Systems.

SOLAR PV PANELS: THE BASICS

Solar PV Panels or photovoltaic cells have the ability to transform captured sunlight into electricity. The term ‘photovoltaic’ comes from the process of changing light photons into voltage currents. This transformation is referred to as the PV effect. This special capability was revealed by scientists at Bell Telephone in 1954. They determined that silicon was able to create an electric charge if it is was exposed to the sun’s rays. Soon afterward, solar cells became commonplace in powering watches, calculators and even space satellites.

What are solar PV panels made from?

Typical solar cells are constructed from silicon. They are flat as this shape is the most effective. Second generation cells, also called thin-film cells are made using non-silicon or amorphous silicon such as cadmium telluride. Thin film cells are very flexible because their thickness is just a few micrometers. They can play double duty as rooftop tiles and shingles, skylight glazing or building facades.

What are the latest solar panels made from?

Current solar panel models, also called third generation cells, can be constructed with a variety of materials such as solar inks, conductive plastics, and solar dyes. Some newer solar cell technologies utilize plastic mirrors and lenses to focus sunlight on small pieces of high efficacy PV material. Although very expensive, since only a small amount of light is needed, it is very cost effective.

solar pv panels

How do solar panels operate?

Solar panels work by enabling light particles (photons) to hit electrons out from atoms. This generates an electricity flow or current. Solar panels are made up of many small components called photovoltaic cells. These are responsible for doing the conversion between sunlight into electrical currents. When many solar cells are connected, they are referred to as a solar panel.

What are photovoltaic cells made from?

Each and every photovoltaic resembles a sandwich; two slices of a semi-conducting material such as silicon. The top portion is layered with phosphorous which adds electrons to the negative charge. In the bottom layer, boron is added which has fewer electrons and has a positive charge.

How do photovoltaic cells work?

For solar cells to work, an electrical field needs to be established. Similar to a magnetic field, electric currents are established when opposing charges are divided. When a unit of sunlight (photon) frees an electron, the electric field in the silicon junction created by negative and positive charges (phosphorous and boron) will push out that particular electron.

A few other components within the solar panels such as metal conductive plates will collect these free electrons and transfer them onto wires. From here, the electrons will flow like electricity.

Where are solar panels used?

Today, solar panels are being increasingly used as environmentally-friendly, alternative, the source of energy. They have frequently seen crowning road signs, rooftops and even powering space crafts.

What are other types of solar power technology there?

Other solar power technologies that harness the power of the sun include concentrated solar power (CSP) and solar thermal. Both work differently from solar photovoltaic panels, but they need sunlight to create electricity.

To learn more about solar photovoltaic technology, contact PS Solar Systems.